Traveling theater groups in India’s northeastern state of Assam are reviving the local art and culture scene after the COVID-19 pandemic forced a pause in their performances for a year and a half.
Seven roving theater companies are back on stage playing before crowds in villages, towns and cities across the state. These mobile theaters are among the most popular forms of local entertainment.
“The public response has been very good. They love live performances. We have no competition from television and the digital boom,” said Prastuti Parashar, a top Assamese actress who owns the Awahan Theater group.
Before the coronavirus hit the region, about 50 theater groups, each involving 120 to 150 people, performed throughout the state. They would start in September, coinciding with major Hindu festivals like Durga Puja and Diwali, and continue until April.
The Awahan Theater is among the groups that have resumed performances and it ended its season last week with the advent of the…